Welcome episode 9 of the Nurtured by Nature podcast. Today I’m delighted to be joined in conversation by the fabulous Wendy Sweet. Wendy lives in the hills on the beautiful west coast of County Mayo in Ireland. Alongside her husband Steve, they have created an oasis for nature and started their business Woo in the Willows.
During this inspiring episode we explored how a closer look at the ingredients list on the back of a skin cream and her own journey with cancer, led Wendy to question what she was putting on her skin and ultimately the creation of their own beautiful range of natural botanical skin creams and products. Wendy openly shares both her passion and depth of knowledge about the healing properties of plants and herbs, from the diverse range of lavenders at the heart of Woo in the Willows’ homegrown botanicals to the powerhouse that comes in the form of the familiar humble little daisy.
I learn how, inspired by Mary Reynolds’ We Are The Ark in just a short time they have helped nature begin to reclaim their patch and how everyday we have the opportunity to learn and be amazed by the world around us and that by simply quietly taking our own journey we can unexpectedly inspire others, which can lead to changes we couldn’t have planned.
Learn more about Wendy:
Wendy (Woo) Sweet is a Horticulturist, Garden Designer, Creator and Company Director of Woo in the Willows. She lives in the hills on the West Coast of beautiful County Mayo in Ireland. In 2015 Wendy and her husband Steve, came across the 2-acre plot. Steve was totally bewildered by Wendy’s insistence that the almost derelict house and ravaged patch of land could become their dream home.
They have planted trees and wildflowers, encouraging wildlife and pollinators. Rewilding parts of the land as they learned more about native species. Then set about producing as much of their own organic herbs and vegetables as they could. They also delight in the myths and legends that form part of rural life in this part of the world and are proud to be accepted by the strong local community.
In 2020, when the Covid pandemic changed so many lives, the concept of ‘Woo in the Willows’ was born. Wendy was using commercial moisturisers when it dawned on them both that some of the ingredients were potentially harmful, particularly to a cancer survivor like Wendy. Over the lockdown days and nights, they researched organic, vegan body products and formulated the recipes that have become the basis for their body products, which they are proud to have passed their safety certification.
They made the hard decision to temporarily give over the majority of their existing vegetable garden to make space for the wonderful varieties of lavenders until new beds could be established. These along with organic herbs and flowers are used widely in their beautiful body products and more recently in culinary oils, vinegars and salts. With sustainability in mind their aim is to use as many of their home-grown botanicals and herbs for all their ‘Woo in the Willows’ products as is possible.
Instagram -@woointhewillows https://www.instagram.com/woointhewillows
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/woointhewillows
Other useful links from this episode:
Find out more about the We Are The Ark Movement: https://wearetheark.org/
We Are The Ark Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/804968449865497/
Mary Reynolds – We Are The Ark https://marymary.ie/
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